Athyrium raises $2B for debt/equity fund; Amgen teams with Carmot on Parkinson's; Neuralstem soars on failed study(?)
→ New York-based Athyrium Capital Management has closed on a new $2 billion healthcare fund to support some expanded work in the biopharma field, among others. Athyrium provides cash as debt as well as equity, with a record for backing a number of loans to companies like Relypsa, Recro and Progenity. And they’ll be backing companies around the world to the tune of $20 million to $300 million out of the new fund.
→ Amgen $AMGN is teaming up with Carmot Therapeutics to tackle Parkinson’s disease, among other things, through a multi-year drug discovery collaboration and licensing agreement. Depending on the targets that the pharma eventually chooses to pursue and the biotech’s progress, Carmot is eligible to receive milestone payments up to $240 million. Berkeley, CA-based Carmot will apply a lead identification technology dubbed Chemotype Evolution, which assembles and screens a customized library of molecules against any given “bait.” After the initial discovery, its partner at Thousand Oaks, CA will pick up clinical development, manufacturing and commercialization activities — and if the products hit the market, Carmot may also receive royalties on sales.
→ Neuralstem $CUR was the big winner in yesterday’s ranking of biotech stocks. Shares rocketed up 176% on news of Phase II depression data. Remarkably, the big spike came even though both doses of their drug failed the primary endpoint on the MADRS score. There was a hit on a couple of secondary endpoints, centering on patient reported scores.